So last night I managed to steal the GMing duties from my buddy Bryan and convinced the guys that a game of Warrior, Rogue & Mage was the latest, greatest thing in roleplaying. The session went well, though I was using Fantasy Grounds for the first time as a GM in probably….4 years maybe, and that lead to many a sidebar discussion on the little neatO things they have added or the oh-too-common discussion on how MapTool would let me do this or that compared to FG. All good but note to self: play around with VT prior to 15 minutes to game time.
Had a slight hiccup with Fantasy Grounds and my router, took longer than it should have due to my lack of attention to detail. In the end FG worked pretty good. Crashed once. We used FG for the game table, dice, and character sheets. Used Skype for chat. Seems to have worked well.
Simple and easy with enough room for players to do pretty much what they wanted. Bryan struggled the most, first with a bear-mage, then a halfling and then settled on guess what…a human mage! The guy is predictable! Cory went with Gronk, a pretty neat orc and Alex picked a lizardman right from the start (image to the right). So needless to say, we had a bit of an interesting party, but I decided to let it go, this session I had a secret agenda: I want to see WR&M in action, long term campaign idiosyncrasies can wait! Game or be damned I say!
For the most part, messing with FG aside, I think it took all of 20 minutes to get all the characters created, written up, and ready to game.
I started the session sort of in a strange way, I read through, in shortened form, most of the game rules. Highlighting how to do most things, reading an example or two from the rules. Took maybe 5 minutes and I had gone through the ‘meat’ of the rules and we were off.
I admit I clichéd the beginning. I grabbed an old map, Falcon’s Hollow, to use for the town. The group was meeting at a pub on the north side of town, the owner was having a problem with large rats that were interfering with his ability to run a successful business. They appeared to be coming from out of his basement, which was created from the ruins of an old, now long gone, keep that this area of town was built upon. I skimmed most details as we had wasted about an hour at this point messing with FG, character creation, and general BSing (it had been about 3 or 4 weeks since we last all got together). He offered them money, but wanted the rats cleaned out in the next six hours, didn’t want his customers seeing anymore rats and all. 50sp and the deal was struck. Into the dungeon….er, the Basement!
I grabbed a map I had made a few weeks ago, for a future issue of LC, drew the Fog of War mask in a minute and down the gang went. Immediately they were attacked by five rats, I said I wanted to see WR&M in action, right? Combat was fluid, simple, and quick. We threw a spell, hacked a few, realized that Gronk wore plate armor and was neigh impenetrable by the simple rats teeth. I wonder how this will play out against more powerful creatures that have equally high stats?
The group made quick work of the rats without a single rat hitting them, whoa is me for picking too easy a baddie, but we got to test out the combat system, which was my main goal after all. The group then seemed a little miffed that the room was cleared so easily and the adventure seemed over. Never fear, stalwart adventurers that they are, they began to search the room. Gronk, being the big lug he is, started moving the large barrels around and accidentally lost control of one, it rolled and crashed into the northern wall, exposing a secret tunnel leading into the darkness! The session ended there as it was getting late.
I liked the system, thought it worked well. I actually thought the combat went a little slower than I would have though given the simple system, part of that was probably me messing around with the combat tracker in FG and our usual goofing off that happens in game (all good though). I can almost see how you could use this system for a fun, somewhat light-hearted, long term campaign.
One thing I really did like, especially after thinking about this more this morning, was how the simple mechanics of the system encourages me as a GM to rule on the fly. This is something I used to use often and really like, but I seem to have lost my mojo after messing with some particular and complicated indie game systems lately. After the combat we wanted to search the room, a quick scan of the rules presented no mechanics for this. I ruled that they should roll a check using the Mage attribute against a Hard Difficulty Level (11). It felt a little contrived and awkward at the moment, but I think that was our D&D or whatever roots messing with me, the players seemed to grab hold of that quickly and liked it. With a little more running of this system I feel that we all would be comfortable enough that this sort of on-the-spot ruling that it would make running this game easy as pie.
I used these stats for the Rats:
RatsWarrior 4, Rogue 3, Mage 0HP: 6Defense: 7Attacks: Bite (uses Warrior attribute) 1d6 damage, Claw (warrior again), 1d6-2 damage